What Are the Causes of Tendon Tears?
- Tendons are the connective tissues that hold muscles to bones. They passively hold bones steady even when they are not active, and they expand and contract to allow the body to stretch out. If tears in a tendon occur, medical attention will be required and must be sought out as soon as possible to avoid further pain and damage.
- Tendon tears can result when someone undertakes an athletic activity that he is not used to. Because the person's muscles are not up to the task, the tendons bear a sudden and unexpected load of pressure, which can cause a tendon to tear or rupture. Proper stretching and preparation before engaging in any physical activity is essential to avoid a tendon tear or rupture.
- In younger people, the muscle tends to tear under pressure or trauma before the tendon tears whereas in older people, the connective tissue is weakened and will usually tear before the muscle.
- Direct trauma refers to any serious bodily injury, wound or shock. In severe cases, a strong impact can cause tendons to tear, but direct trauma may also include over-extension of the tendon in question. For example, if an individual tries to lift something too heavy, the biceps are under a great deal of strain. If the bicep muscle cannot handle the strain, the stress is passed on to the tendon, which starts to tear away from the bone. A sudden increase in the pressure for the tendon can result in tearing, like stepping into a hole or falling over and bending the affected body part.
- The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) states that steroid injections and corticosteroid medications are linked to a weakening of the muscle and tendon tissues, which leads to them being easily torn. Similarly, the AAOS goes on to relate that nicotine use in any form can affect the amount of nutrition that gets to the tendon, weakening it over all.